5Capitals toolkit

5Capitals toolkit

Packaging cherry tomatoes at Appalachian Harvest, United States 

Taro root producer linked to the Jorge Salazar Cooperative, Nicaragua

Entrance to Jorge Salazar, a co-operative that exports taro root, Nicaragua


The 5Capitals toolkit provides those interested in value chain development with an innovative framework for assessing outcomes and impacts.The framework focuses on understanding the needs and circumstances of smallholders and local enterprises engaged in value chain development and helping stakeholders in value chain development to design interventions that better respond to these actors.

The 5Capitals manual, titled 5Capitals: A Tool for Assessing the Poverty Impacts of Value Chain Development, was designed by an international team of development practitioners, researchers and donors and was tested extensively in Asia, Africa, the United States and Latin America. Design of the tool was led by CATIE with financial support from the Ford Foundation.

Since publication of the manual, CATIE has partnered with ICRAF and Bioversity International to provide additional tools and guidance for assessing the poverty impacts of value chain development. The 5Capitals case study companion represents an important outcome of this collaboration. We hope that the companion provides useful insights on implementation of the 5Capitals manual and how the results from implementation can form the basis of learning platforms among stakeholders in value chain development.

5Capitals Publications

5Capitals guide

5Capitals: A Tool for Assessing the Poverty Impacts of Value Chain Development. Technical Series 55, Rural Enterprise Development Collection 7, CATIE, Turrialba, Costa Rica.
English | Spanish | Portuguese

5Capitals case study companion

Assessing Impacts of Value Chain Development on Poverty: A Case-Study Companion to the 5Capitals tool. CATIE Technical Series 69, Rural Enterprise Development Collection 8, CATIE/ICRAF/Bioversity International. Turrialba Costa Rica
English | Spanish

Peer-reviewed publications

Partnerships in Fairtrade coffee: a close-up look at how buyers and NGOs build supply capacity in Nicaragua. Food Chain 4(1): 34-48. English Fulltext

Farmers’ community enterprise for marketing organic bananas from Alto Beni, Bolivia: Impacts and threats. Enterprise Development and Microfinance 22 (3): 210-224

Evaluating value chain impact using a sustainable livelihoods approach: A case study on horticulture in Afghanistan. Enterprise Development and Microfinance 22 (3): 225-240

Value Chain Development for Rural Poverty Reduction: A Reality Check and a Warning. Enterprise Development and Microfinance. 23 (1): 54-69 English Fulltext

Enterprise Development and the Rural Poor: Building Value Chain Capacity in Specialty Coffee Markets in Nicaragua. Journal of Agribusiness in Developing and Emerging Economies. In press

Changing Asset Endowments and Smallholder Participation in Higher Value Markets: Evidence from Certified Coffee Producers in Nicaragua. Food Policy 44 (2014): 1-13 English Fulltext

Asset Building in Response to Value Chain Development: Lessons from Taro Producers in Nicaragua. International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability 11(1): 23-37


Horticultural producer linked to La Alianza Hortofrutícola del Sur, Colombia

Vegetable grower with MEDA's Through the Gate" project, Afghanistan

CATIE's implementation of 5Capitals in Jinotega, Nicaragua